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Should I repair or replace my HVAC system?

HVAc unit outside of house

Can HVAC last 30 years?

In Orange, California, and the surrounding area, it is sunny and beautiful, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have cool days or nights in the winter. So having the heater in working condition is just as important for us as it is everywhere else, and that means we need professional heater repair from time to time too. Having a professional heater repair service with a company or contractor that knows hvac parts and what they do is important as is the knowing hvac parts and functions. 

There is no doubt that an HVAC system is a major expense, but it is also an investment in your home. This is why you want to get the longest lifespan from a unit as possible. There are a few factors to be considered like the brand, quality, annual inspection, and routine maintenance, including heater repair when needed that affect that lifespan.

 With proper maintenance, a gas powered HVAC can last as long as 30 years or longer, whereas an electric powered HVAC system lifespan is a minimum of 15 years.  Getting heater repair when it is needed is a key factor in the longevity of any HVAC system.

How many years does HVAC last?

With proper maintenance by the homeowner, including monthly air filter change,  and professional inspection and maintenance annually, a HVAC system can last up to 15 years  or longer.  When air conditioning and heater repair is needed, it is important to the efficiency and lifespan, EOM  hvac parts and accessories be used, not any cross-referenced or generic. Places that sell hvac parts to the public  are known for cross-referencing brand name parts or selling generic parts. They don’t always work correctly and can void any possible warranty you have left for your HVAC system.

Is switching between heat and AC bad?

Frequent switching between heater to air conditioning is fine, when done correctly. This shouldn’t create an increase in your utilities or put any extra strain or your HVAC system that would require air conditioner or heater repair. 

So, what is the correct way to switch from air conditioning to heating or vice versa? First, you need to let the unit complete the current cycle, meaning if the air condition is on, wait until it completes and does auto off before switching to heater. The same is to be done if it is in heater mode, let it finish the cycle before switching to air conditioning. Keep these two things in mind to help minimize the need for air conditioning or heater repair:

  • Patience: If you’re cold or hot, waiting that five minutes for the air condition refrigerant to return to the starting pressure may seem like an hour. However, by turning it back immediately while the pressure is high can lock up the compressor or trip the breaker.  
  • Be Gentle: When switching between cooling and heating, refrain from drastic changes and adjust the temperature just a few degrees at a time. This efficient process will prevent the system from being overworked and the need for air conditioning or heater repair.

You need to realize that while it is okay to switch the system from cold to heat, it does make the system work harder. If this is a practice within your household, you should consider having a professional inspection and maintenance twice a year versus the recommended annual appointment. 

HVAC units

How do you know if your HVAC blower motor is bad?

An HVAC blower motor is an important that blows the cooled or heated air through the air ducts and vents throughout your home. There is a fan that spins for this task to be performed, and when the blower motor isn’t working, a professional air conditioning and heater repair service is needed. 

There are two blower motor types: single-speed which operates at full capacity by the signals it receives from the thermostat. Then there is the variable-speed blower motor that operates at low and high speed, keeping the temperature consistent with energy efficiency.

The blower motor can be vulnerable to mechanical failures as it ages and has wear and tear. As the HVAC system ages, the components like the blower motor become problematic, and the blower motor is often one of the first things to quit. The following 5 things are indications that your air conditioner or heater repair may be the blower motor: 

  • Air flow is weak coming through the vents: this is an indication the blower motor isn’t blowing as hard and can’t push the air through the vents. This issue can also be from a clogged or dirty air filter. Change or clean the air filter to see if that helps and you may be able to avoid having a heater repair service call. 
  • There isn’t any airflow is often the blower motor has totally quit. It can also be the thermostat batter, the fan control switch, or several other factors. You can change the batteries out in the thermostat before you call for an air conditioner and heater repair service. 
  • Energy bills have gotten unusually high because it is taking more electricity to turn the blower motor and circulate the air throughout the house.  
  • Loud and strange noises coming from your HVAC system is often the blower motor. This is a situation that you need to schedule a air conditioning and heater repair service call. 
  • Overheating blower motor can be from a buildup of dirt, dust, and grime that isn’t allowing it to operate as intended. A  professional air and heater repair service call will include the system being inspected and if the blower needs to be repaired or replaced, the technician can address that with you. 

Do your part in HVAC maintenance will help minimize the possibility of heater repair service calls, including changing or cleaning the air filter.  How often should HVAC filter be replaced? Basic recommendations is every 30 days, more frequent if you live on a dirt road or have animals in the house. Need HVAC repair or replacement in Orange, CA? Call (714) 464-6622 today.

Does an Electric Furnace Need Maintenance?

working on a furnace

Does an electric furnace need maintenance?

Definitely! Any type of cooling or heating system should always have a maintenance routine by either the homeowner or a professional HVAC technician. In fact, any appliance in your home should have a maintenance routine. Having a professional Electric furnace maintenance just before winter is always recommended.

Electric furnaces are more common than gas because every home has electricity, not all homes have gas. There is also the safety concerns that many people still have today with gas furnaces and the possible hazards from combustible gases and toxic fumes. Fortunately, over the years, we’ve seen great improvements in that area with gas furnaces.

Durability and longevity are perhaps two of the biggest advantages of an electric furnace. With proper routine electric furnace maintenance, you can expect to get ten years lifespan with fewer services calls than a gas furnace. The recommended electric furnace maintenance will fend off the needs for emergency repair calls on a cold winter night.

Of course, it all depends on who you speak with in determining electric or gas furnace choices. Everyone has an opinion such as electric furnaces aren’t as energy-efficient than a gas models. However, like current technology has improved with gas furnaces it has with electric furnaces as well, and they can hold up in fair comparison today.

Why does an electric furnace need maintenance?

An electric furnace works through resistance heating, meaning its power comes from the heating element coils inside the furnace cabinet. When the electric furnace is on, it heats up the coils and elements and that heats up the air that blows through the ductwork.

What is electric furnace maintenance?

All of this puts stress on the coil and heating elements, and without professional electric furnace maintenance and routine care by the homeowner, they will need replacing, usually at the most inopportune time. During a professional electric furnace maintenance service call, the technician will perform the following:

  • Inspect the heating elements
  • Inspect the entire system, adjusting, cleaning, tightening as needed
  • Inspect the air handler
  • Inspect the motors, cleaning and lubricating as needed
  • Inspect the capacitors, replace any that may be failing

At the end of the electric furnace maintenance checkup, the technician will advise the homeowner is any additional work is recommended that my need their approval for expense.

What is electric furnace maintenance?

An electric furnace maintenance routine is when the components inside the electric furnace are inspected, cleaned, tightened, repaired, or replaced. The technician will check the blower motor, making sure it is sending the heated air through the heating elements and on through the air duct and ventilation system.

Electric furnace maintenance checks of the blower fan and motor will make sure they aren’t damaged or near being worn down. Cleaning and lubricating these parts are an important part of the electric furnace maintenance routine.

How often should an electric furnace be serviced?

The electric furnace should have an annual cleaning by a professional included with the electric furnace maintenance. Is electric furnace maintenance necessary? If you want your electric furnace to keep working through the winter without downtime, yes. A professional electric furnace maintenance will include looking for indications of deterioration.

There are five indicators of an electric furnace deteriorating, that the technician will be checking:

  • Electric furnace is over fifteen years old
  • Your energy heating bills are skyrocketing
  • You’re having constant repairs to your electric furnace
  • The temperature is uneven throughout your house
  • There is  soot around the registers
  • The electric furnace is loud and noisy

How often should you clean your furnace?

A complete electric furnace, duct cleaning, dryer vents and other components can cost between $200 to $400 on average, maybe more in some areas. So, it only makes sense that a homeowner on budget is going to question the validity of how often.

Experienced electric  furnace cleaning technicians recommend no less than every 2 year and if there are pets in the house, once a year. Other signs that could be telling you to it is time for an electric furnace maintenance service would be:

  • Wisps of dust blow out of air vents
  • Dust or pet hair stuck in vent?
  • Vent grill are covered in dust?
  • You have to dust more frequent?

Or have you noticed any increase in the following:

  • Excessive coughing
  • Eyes and throat are irritated
  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Seasonal allergies off-season
burner in furnace

How do I clean my electric furnace?

Having an electric furnace, you have to realize that it is going to get dirt and dusty.  Fortunately, there aren’t many parts to be cleaned by the homeowner, and highest recommendation is to have it professionally cleaned and include and electric furnace maintenance agreement.

In between those professional appointments, here we provide you a few things to know How to do electric furnace maintenance do safely to clean your electric furnace.

  • Vacuum out debris, dirt, dust inside of the furnace
  • Vacuum around the blower wheel and compartment
  • Use a stiff brush to remove stuck on dust in the blower wheel and vacuum off
  • Do not touch any wires!

Just how long should an electric furnace last? With proper maintenance by the homeowner and professional electric furnace maintenance and inspections, you can expect a lifespan between twenty and thirty years. Need help with your furnace in Orange, CA? Call (714) 464-6622 today!

How Often Should a Heating System Be Serviced?

An HVAC Technician Inspects a Heater.

How often should a heating system be serviced?

Some people take a pass when an HVAC company recommends a heating system maintenance plan, especially when their heater seems to be working fine and was working OK last winter. But, if you’re stuck wondering why your heating system has stopped working in the middle of winter and you’re about to put down a big chunk of change on a repair or even a premature replacement, the reason could be because you didn’t have your system checked out earlier in the season.

When you set up an annual HVAC maintenance plan, you’re less likely to have serious problems with your heater when you need it most in the winter. If you’ve scheduled regular maintenance in the fall—as you should for your heater—an HVAC technician can fine-tune your system to make sure it’s going to run efficiently when temperatures drop. The technician also will be able to alert you to any components that are starting to fail and you can have them repaired and replaced then, before serious break downs occur later on.

Don’t be left out in the cold this winter. Set up your annual Heating system maintenance in Orange, CA by calling Elite HVAC at (714) 464-6622.

How do you service a heating system?

In the fall, when you schedule your annual, your HVAC technician will have a heating system maintenance checklist that they follow for the service. This will list all the items they’re going to test, inspect, adjust, and clean. The service will typically include:

  • Inspection of vents as well as air intake grilles and removal of any clogs or blockages.
  • Inspection of the heat exchanger to ensure there’s no damage or corrosion present.
  • Test blower motor’s amp draw and repair or replace any wiring that’s damage.
  • Examination of belts for damage.
  • Inspection of burners and sensors for damage.
  • Inspection and calibration of thermostat.
  • Cleaning or replacing the air filter.
  • Testing of safety controls as well as the start-up cycle.

How do you maintain a boiler heating system?

Heating system maintenance for boilers is fairly similar to maintenance for a central heating system. Boilers, however, not only have vents, but they also have chimneys as part of the ventilation system, and the chimney will need to be inspected as well. When inspecting the chimney, the HVAC technician looks for holes or broken connections.

The boiler will also have to be flushed regularly. The boiler’s power and water supply will need to be shut off when it’s being flushed. Also, the circulating pump, which moves water around the system, will have to be lubricated.

In floor heating system maintenance

One of the latest trends in heating is in-floor or radiant heating, in which tubing or pipes are placed under your flooring to radiate heat. This is an efficient and space-saving method for heating, but it still needs to be maintained regularly. Radiant heaters, in particular, need to maintain consistent pressure for efficient heating, and the pressure should be checked when you have the system serviced. For water-based in-floor systems, you’ll also have to have the pipes checked for leaks. The condition of pumps and valves also will need to be checked and cleaned.

Commercial heating system maintenance

Keeping commercial heating systems maintained is essential to your employees’ comfort. These heating systems are much larger and often more complicated to maintain. One major complication for repair and maintenance is that they are often installed on rooftops, which means safety is definitely a priority. Like residential HVAC systems, they need to be serviced once a year, preferably in the fall. It’s also essential for ventilation and filters to be cleaned or changed regularly.

How often should you clean your central heating system?

When you get your annual heating system maintenance performed, various components will be cleaned. If you have central heating and air, you also want to get your ductwork cleaned at least once every three to seven years as well. Ducts can get blocked and accumulate dust which obstructs airflow and diminishes indoor air quality. Poor indoor air quality can affect your health, especially if you have asthma, allergies, or other respiratory conditions.

How do I fix my central heating system?

Sometimes heating system maintenance issues can be resolved with a little troubleshooting. One simple thing to do is regularly clean or change your filters, at least once every 30 days or so. Dirty filters affect your indoor air quality as well as airflow. It’s very possible for air filters to get so dirty they cause components to overheat or cause your system to shut down.

If you are having problems with temperature control, the first place to look is your thermostat. Make sure it’s on the right setting and set to a comfortable temperature. Look at its wiring to see if it’s damaged and check its batteries if it runs on batteries.

A Technician Checks a Heater.

Heating system maintenance near me

If you want to make sure your heater is going to work when you require it most and need to schedule heating system maintenance in Orange, CA, look to the professionals at Elite HVAC. We can set you up on a regular maintenance plan so your system is performing at peak levels year-round. Set up a service appointment today by calling (714) 464-6622.

What does an air filtration system do?

air filtration systems in a home

Get clean air

There is air pollution all around us, including in our homes. You like to believe that you home is a safe harbor, and for the most part, it is, but when it comes to air pollution, your home may not be as safe as it is outside. That is why having an air filtration system in homes is becoming more the norm and not the rarity it once was. 

Your home has up to five more times pollutants and toxins than the air outside. Appalled?! Yes, while we are taking allergy medications and getting allergy shots, we are also going home and breathing in more than we do outside all day. When we consider these things, no wonder more homeowners are installing an air filtration system.

What are the 4 major indoor air pollutants?

Well, there are more than four, but the major pollutants that an air filtration system could minimize or even eliminate are: 

  • Carbon monoxide – A colorless, odorless gas produced by natural gas, kerosene, propane, oil, or wood burning appliances or heaters, and an element of car exhaust.
  • Tobacco smoke – Over 3,000 chemical compounds are composed together are released into the homes of smokers. 
  • Radon – Another colorless and odorless gas but is radioactive and comes from the earth in the form of a uranium breaking down in the soil below our homes, then seeps through the floors, foundation, and walls. 
  • Mold – Any damp area in your home, air conditioner, basement, carpeting, ceiling, humidifier, mattress, refrigerator, will grow airborne mold spores.

Other pollutants found in home are pesticides and solvents. Both provide dangerous breathing situations with their ingredients. If a humidifier can be good for the home, then what about the mold mentioned earlier? What is the difference between an air purifiers vs dehumidifiers? 

An air in your home is circulated through an air purifier. Inside that air purifier is the air filtration system where air-borne pollutants are trapped in a filter, including irritants like dust, pollen, and smoke. 

A dehumidifier reduces the humidity by sucking in moisture from the air. Once that moisture is sucked in, the microbes and mold in the air are killed.  So, because a humidifier sucks in mold, if the filter isn’t changed on regular schedule, those air-borne mold particles are released back into the air you’re breathing. An air filtration system will suck in those particles and minimize how much is escaping into the air. 

Should I sleep with air purifier on?

The  air purifiers benefits your family can have should be around the clock, and if they are more important at any point, it is while you’re sleeping.  The pollutants inside your home are coming from things like formaldehyde in the flooring and furniture. These are things escaping into the air 24/7/365. Fortunately, an air filtration system or air purifier doesn’t use much energy, and most have a low speed you can set the unit at while it is constantly running. 

Do air purifiers cool the air?

While an air purifier circulates air with an internal fan, it does not cool the air. There is nothing inside an air filtration system, like a mechanism that cools. 

Do air purifiers dry out sinuses?

No, and air purifier will not dry out your sinuses. There are a series of filters inside an air filtration system and air moves through those, getting rid of any airborne molecules. An air purifier is only taking in particles, not the air, which is what dries sinuses out. 

Humidity is different every season, so we have to approach and treat it differently. When the weather is at its hottest, summertime, the humidity is sometimes intolerable for many. So, using a method that will lower the humidity makes us more comfortable, like a dehumidifier. 

During the winter, the humidity is different and actually drop too low, causing your home to be extra dry when the heater is running. So, you need a piece of equipment that adds the moisture back into your home.    

clean air filter

How do you clean the air in your house?

  • Purchasing air purifiers to remove dust in areas where you spend the most time, bedrooms, and family room.  Air filtration in the laundry room is helpful too. Other things you can do to clean the air in your home are: 
  • Increase Ventilation to reduce the moisture levels, a huge indoor air problem. DO this by installing air filtration system that will cycle the air inside. And use the exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen. 
  • Use beeswax candles instead of the scented candles. Beeswax candles ionize the air, neutralizing the toxic compounds and contaminants, acting as a natural air filtration system.
  • A salt lamp is a great natural air filtration system that reduces airborne allergens, irritants, and pathogens by pulling water vapor out of the air. 
  • Activated charcoal is a great natural air filtration system too. It purifies the indoor air with an  odorless, highly-absorptive method that eliminates toxins from the air.
  • Houseplants in every room is a natural air filtration system and adds beauty and color to your home too. 

Keep your carpets cleaned, daily vacuuming once a month shampoo, and twice a year professionally cleaned. Installing air purifiers or mold removers in areas that are damp and prone to have mold, bathrooms, laundry room, and kitchen. Anyone that smokes, ask them do take it outside and when you enter your home, take off your shoes!  These are tracking in more pollutants and toxins that you’re breathing in. Want to get started with an air filtration system for your home? Call (714) 464-6622 today!

Refrigerant Recharge or Replacement

AC outside of house

Do home AC units need to be recharged?

An air conditioner has a lot of components and moving parts, along with the refrigerant. What is refrigerant? Your air conditioner uses a refrigerant that pulls the heat out of the air and transfers it into the compressor. When the refrigerant is low or out, the heat doesn’t transfer, and that is when the air conditioner refrigerant recharge is needed. Actually, a refrigerant recharge isn’t what is happening. It is actually refilling. 

If an air conditioner technician tells you that your air conditioner needs a refrigerant recharge, it isn’t because it has used it up but because it has a leak.  Adding more refrigerant to your air conditioner is like adding air to a tire that has a hole. It is merely going to leak out. 

Disregarding repairing the refrigerant leak is only costing you more money because the air conditioner will need refrigerant again. Another concern that refrigerant is escaping into the air and depleting the ozone, damaging the climate. What is the difference between Freon vs refrigerant? 

Refrigerant is the product, and Freon is the brand name. Think of a tissue is the product, and Kleenex is the brand name.  Freon is a trademark product of DuPont. There are other brands of refrigerant recharge, which more consumers are turning to because of the concern of the environment. The following are the four most suitable refrigerants to replace the Freon brand: 

  • R-134A
  • R-407C
  • R-404A
  • R-410A

If a technician has advised you that your air conditioner needs a refrigerant recharge, ask if they have these other brands and will they work on your air conditioner. Some air conditioners have to be retrofit to take a different brand of refrigerant recharge. At that point, you may be better off replacing your unit if there is a leak. 

Can you recharge an air conditioner?

HVAC air conditioning and windows air conditioners can have a refrigerant recharge. However, if there is a leak, it will escape. A small leak will take some time for that refrigerant recharge to escape, and if it leaks fast, then you’ll know you have a large leak. Keep in mind that while this refrigerant recharge is leaking, it is not environmentally friendly and is depleting the ozone.

How often do you need to add Freon to home AC?

If everything within your HVAC air conditioner is working correctly, it shouldn’t ever need a refrigerant recharge. The only time an air conditioner “needs a refrigerant recharge is when it has a leak, and as we’ve mentioned earlier, refrigerant recharge your air conditioner is like adding air to a tire with a hole. It will simply leak out again if you don’t fix the leak. We aren’t saying a refrigerant recharge doesn’t have its purpose, why else would the product and tools be on the market if there wasn’t a reason? However, we can’t state this enough; if the leak isn’t found and fixed, a refrigerant recharge is a waste of money and time.

Here are five indicators that your air conditioner needs a refrigerant recharge.”

  • The air conditioner is continuously running: The refrigerant absorbs heat from the inside of your house and sends it outside. When there isn’t any or enough coolant, it can’t do that will keep attempting to cool the warm air inside your home. That leads to the following fact: Higher energy bills.
  • Higher energy bills: Air conditioning is going to increase your energy bills some, that is just a given during the summer months. However, if it seems to have jumped up more than it has before, there is something wrong. This leads us to the following fact: Closed vents.
  • Air isn’t cold: When an air conditioner doesn’t have enough refrigerant, it can’t absorb the heat from your home. This means only warm air will be coming out of the vents, and usually a reduced amount of airflow. What this is doing is building ice up inside the air conditioner, which leads us to the following fact: Iced refrigerant lines. 
  • Iced over refrigerant lines: Your next step is to check the component outside your home, and if the refrigerant lines going into the house have ice on them, your air conditioner needs a refrigerant recharge or replacing. 
  • Bubbling/Hissing noises: A small refrigerant leaks are silent, so if you can hear any bubbling or hissing sounds, you need to call a professional air conditioning repair service immediately.

Note: A good air conditioning technician will advise you that your system has a leak and give you a quote for repairing the leak, not just “top you off” with a refrigerant recharge. Some repair companies will be glad to keep returning to “top you off” because they make money from that service. Use a reputable air conditioning service. 

Can you recharge Home AC yourself? and How do I recharge my home AC unit? are two popular questions. Why? Because everybody likes to save money! Even air conditioning professionals understand that! 

We wouldn’t be true to ourselves if we didn’t state this: Performing a refrigerant recharge can be dangerous. These cans of refrigerant and the refrigerant lines on your air conditioner are under high pressure. The refrigerant itself is sold only to a licensed air conditioning professional by law set forth by the Environmental Protection Administration. 

If you can find somebody to buy the refrigerant from, you’ll need special equipment and tools to perform the refrigerant recharge procedure. If you are determined to attempt this yourself, and you don’t know how to refrigerant recharge, we offer the following: 

  • Make sure you purchase the right refrigerant for your air conditioner. There are different kinds and using the wrong one could make the situation worse. 
  • Check all the components inside the air condition and compressor, making sure it is all in working order and clean.  
  • Plug the service valve from your refrigerant kit into a compressor line in the air conditioner unit and follow the instructions in the kit and attached to the service valve.
  • The refrigerant kit should have a small valve connector.  Plug the remaining compressor lines from the air conditioner compressor then follow the instructions in the refrigerant kit.
  • Attach the refrigerant container to the two valves you installed and follow the instructions in the refrigerant kit, securing the container between the valves. 
  • After you are finished installing the refrigerant, turn your air conditioning on full blast so that the refrigerant is forced into the air conditioning system. Once the refrigerant is loaded, turn off the system and remove the refrigerant container and valves. 
newly recharged AC unit

Are there any refrigerant recharge benefits?

Yes, and the first one is the air conditioner will blow cold air, which is what you want your air conditioner to do, right?  If the leak is fixed before the refrigerant recharge is done, it could give you another two or three summers of cold air from the air conditioner. If the leak isn’t fixed, it will get you through the current summer, maybe.  Basically, a refrigerant recharge is a band-aid to a more complicated and expensive procedure. Call (714) 464-6622 today for refrigerant recharge in Orange, CA.

How can I make my house more energy efficient?

an energy efficient ac unit

Better Ways to Cool Your Home

We’re headed into mid-summer and the temperatures are rising. No homeowner wants to pay higher electric bills that usually comes with summer months. Even though the temperatures are mild for Orange County, California, homeowners still want to have an energy efficient air conditioner.   

Not just during the summer months, but homeowners across the country are continuously looking for energy efficient tips to help with their energy bills. Not just electricity either, we want help to minimize our natural gas and water bills too. It’s an ongoing mission. 

While having an energy efficient air conditioner is on obvious way to save on energy cost, how do you know you’re getting the best energy efficient air conditioner? Homeowners that start shopping for an energy efficient air conditioner often will ask the salesperson, “Which air conditioner is most energy efficient?” All the manufacturers will tell you theirs are, but truly, which is the most energy efficient air conditioner and how do you know? 

Experts in air conditioning will tell you that the models and units that are the most energy efficient are ENERGY STAR® compliant. Manufacturers must meet standards that are above the basic standards to receive this certification as an energy efficient air conditioner unit with criteria like:

  • minimum ten percent more efficient than government standard requirements
  • made with better materials and parts that are more efficient for energy use
  • superior performance for consumers
  • provide consumers reduced energy costs for recouping their upfront expense
  • eco or energy-saving mode, filter cleaning reminders
energy efficient AC unit

How do you reduce energy consumption?

We don’t realize that some of the smallest electronics we use can be energy eating item. Here are five simple ways to reduce the daily energy consumption in your home:

1. Turn off computers

This is especially helpful in commercial buildings, but an excellent practice at home. Turn the computer and this includes the monitor. The screensaver mode isn’t an energy saving mode. Will shutting down your computer shorten the lifespan? Absolutely not, with today’s computers and the EnergyStar requirements, all is good to power down! 

2. Choose lighting that is right

The most energy efficient light bulbs are the LED bulbs, which use three-fourths the energy that standard lightbulbs do. They have a longer lifespan too because they do not have any mercury. 

3. Idle electronics should be unplugged

The refrigerator has to stay plugged in, so your food doesn’t ruin, but the microwave, printers, scanners, and televisions don’t. Even if they go into standby power, they are using electricity. If a charger or cord feels warm, then it has been pulling in electricity. If you’re not using it, unplug it. Idle electronics across the country use the amount of power of twelve power plants.

4. Decrease the energy loads with power strips

You’re probably thinking, “what a pain that will be to go around unplugging 20 different electronics every day, then plug them back in!”.  Using power strips will enable you to turn off several items at once by simply flipping the power strip switch. Kill that energy vampire with one switch at a time! 

5. Lights Off!

Are you leaving the room for more than 5 minutes? Turn the light off! 

Is it cheaper to run your AC all day?

When the temperatures will be hot, it is less expensive to live your air conditioner on during the day, even if you’re not hope. However, it shouldn’t be left at full blast and cold the whole time. This isn’t only to be energy efficient or cost effective. It can wear your unit out faster and you’ll be having repair cost or replacement cost sooner.

At what temperature AC consumes less power?

To maintain an ideal setting for the air conditioner, set the thermostat at 25 degrees cooler than the expected high for the day. Each 22 degree drop uses as much as four percent less power.

What are 7 ways that you can reduce yfour own personal consumption of energy?

We listed five things you can do to reduce energy consumption earlier, but there are more things you can do. The following is a list of energy efficient tips that you can implement in addition to purchasing energy efficient air conditioner, because not all energy efficiency is electrical. Look:

1. Energy Efficiency the Refrigerator

Setting the temperature at 37 degrees will lessen how much  energy this appliance uses. Make sure all the gaskets around the freezer and fridge door are sealing too.

2. Switch on Fluorescent Bulbs

CF (compact fluorescent) bulbs use just one-fifth of the incandescent light bulbs and they have a longer lifespan up to six times.

3. Automatic or Timed Light Sensors

Outdoor lighting provides security, but you don’t need them on all the time isn’t necessary though. Have a professional electrician install automatic and timed sensors for all your outdoor lighting so they only come on at dusk and turn off at dawn.

4. Solar-Powered Lighting

Nothing says welcome more than a walkway lit up, or flowerbeds with soft lighting shining on your home’s architecture. Having all those lights burning when you don’t need them is a waste of energy. Switch out all the landscape lighting with solar-powered lights and let the sun power them! 

5. Buy Appliances with EnergyStar Rating

As we mentioned above when buying energy efficient air conditioner, the EnergyStar standards indicate you will get a money saving air conditioner. The same is to be said about all appliances and electronics. These all cost more to purchase, but to be in line with the EnergyStar guidelines, the appliances have to be guaranteed to have a lower operating cost.

6. Insulation Is the Big Winner

If your home has electric heat, the more insulation you can have in the attic, basement, and walls, the more you’ll mitigate the energy loss and reduce your home’s electricity consumption during the winter. During the summer, it does just the opposite and keeps the cool air in and the heat out. Insulating your home will help keep that cool air from your new energy efficient air conditioner inside where it belongs!  

7. Insulate the Water Lines and Water Heater

Wrap your electric water heater with an insulation jacket will reduce how much electricity it uses and wrap the hot water lines will keep the water hot from the water heater to the faucet.

energy efficient air conditioner

Closing Words on This Topic

Other things you can do in addition to buying an energy efficient air conditioner and following the tips we’ve discussed here is installing energy efficient windows. Windows that are more than 10 years old are letting a lot of the energy efficient air conditioner cold air out during the summer and a lot of cold air in during the winter.

Not only will upgrading to energy efficient windows save you money with the cooling and heating bills, but you’ll get tax credit too. If you can’t afford new windows, weatherstripping is inexpensive and mitigate the lost cooled or heated air by preventing cold or hot air drafts.

Should I Repair or Replace my Air Conditioning System?

Air conditioner repair

When should I replace my air conditioner?

When it comes to living in Orange, CA you’re going to want an air conditioner for much of the year to regulate your home. When it comes to maintaining your unit, it can be easy to wonder then what should be done when something goes wrong. In a broader sense, it is not a common occurrence that an air conditioner needs to be replaced unless it is at an advanced age. More commonly, a homeowner will only need air conditioner repair to the system that cools their home. That is because the entire system and other parts of the greater HVAC system have multiple parts that can break down due to varying reasons. At 10 years of age, air conditioners will show the signs of needing a replacement. Ideally, they last up to 15 years, but the general age for replacement sits at ten years. 

At the point of needing either for that matter, while air conditioner repair can be made by the homeowner with a good amount of effort, air conditioner replacement cannot be done by an untrained person. The reason being is that the air conditioner is made up of several sections that are integrated into the electric system of the home and also there needs to be specific knowledge to the right parts for the system. In any case, it can be normal to commit to air conditioner repair. What can also be done is to get a technician to take on the problem and can confidently take care of it. Trust the experts at Elite HVAC to get the job done when you call (714) 464-6622 to schedule your appointment for central air conditioner repair.

Is it worth replacing the compressor on AC unit?

Among HVAC technicians, there is a general agreement that the compressor in an AC unit gets a lot of blame but is not necessarily the cause of most problems. In reality, this part of the air conditioning unit tends to last as long as the system, boasting a general lifespan of 12 hears and sometimes more. Normally as well, when a homeowner has the compressor replaced, it generally is apart of an entire air conditioner replacement. As it stands, most problems that occur in the compressor can actually be prevented. One will find that these problems include:

  • Too much or too little refrigerant: The compressor needs a specific amount of refrigerant to effectively fulfill its purpose. Too little can lead to a strain in the system whereas too much can lead to subcooling and further damages.
  • Suction line size: When the size of the suction line is too small or large, the compressor can fail prematurely
  • Ill kept coils: Air passes through and around the condenser coils, building up any manner of filth like dust and grime. When not cleaned, the compressor can overheat and eventually fail. 
  • Lack of lubrication: As a machine, each part needs to be properly maintained and oiled so it does not catch or eventually fail
  • Blockages: In many parts of the entire air conditioning system, blockages can damage the compressor directly even if it’s not in contact with the problem. 

While other problems also occur in the electrical and cleaning aspects of the compressor, each of the mentioned issues can be avoided. While a person should check up on their system every so often, the best way to keep it in good condition is to have a technician inspect it. The best way to avoid the need for air conditioner repair services is to have the system inspected at least once to twice per year in the spring and fall.

Can a dirty filter cause AC not to work?

While many problems that call for air conditioner repair are often not the compressor, it is common for problem to arise when the filter is dirty. A dirty filter can be considered in the same conversation as a blockage, which forces the compressor and other parts to work harder in order to cool the home. The general consensus among technicians, therefore, is that the filter should be replaced at a frequency depending on the home.

  • 20-45 days for homes with pets and occupants that suffer allergies
  • Every 60 days when occupants just have pets
  • 90 days for homes without pets

When your home is not necessarily cooling efficiently, it tends to lean towards dirty filters, dirty parts, or a blockage that has formed in the ventilation. As mentioned, the system needs to be well maintained to a larger degree to constantly cool the home and to last for the 15 years that it can achieve.

air conditioner

How do I reset my air conditioning unit?

When trying to fix your air conditioning unit, knowing that it is well taken care of, sometimes all that needs to be done is a reset. In order to do that, all a person needs to do is shut it down at the nearest thermostat. If you have multiple units built into your home, you will need to go to multiple thermostats. You will then need to reset the power feeding into the units at the circuit breaker, which should be labeled. After waiting a minute, flip the switches for the units back on and turn the air conditioner on at the thermostat. By that point, your system has been successfully reset and if that is all it needed, it should be cooling the home. When you need air conditioner repair or other services, you can depend on Elite HVAC in Orange, CA to get your system working. Call (714) 464-6622 today to schedule your appointment for our services.

What is an energy-efficient air conditioner?

old air conditioner system outside home

Do AC units use a lot of electricity?

Why should you consider buying an energy efficient air conditioner? Well, summer is quickly approaching, and many homeowners already dread that rise in the electric bill that comes with a constantly running air conditioner. Some of those same homeowners are wondering if it may be worth upgrading to an energy efficient air conditioner unit now. Maybe it will save some money this summer, o should you be considering this expenditure this spring? Keep reading as we answer common questions and provide helpful information: 

Central HVAC system is an energy hog, especially when running the air conditioner part of the system. The average home air conditioning uses the most electricity, from 16% of total electricity to 70% in warmer climates. The best and easiest way to minimize that expense is to run the air conditioner less and set the thermostat up a degree or two higher. Even with the highest energy efficient air conditioners, the higher the thermostat setting and the less you run it at all, the cheaper it will be on your electrical bill.

Is it cheaper to run central AC or window units?

The cooling and heating of your home can take up to 50% of your budget every month. With summer coming, you already know a lot of that expense will cool costs, especially if the kids are home all day. So, before summer settles in, maybe you need to consider getting an energy efficient air conditioner? 

You may replace your central air conditioning with window units, and what the air conditioner energy efficiency ratio between the two methods is the best. It is important to find a method to cool your home with a method that is air conditioning energy efficient. Besides energy efficient air conditioners, homeowners want convenience and easy operation for the HVAC system.

That is where the programmable thermostats on the market today are a big part of the energy efficient air conditioner shopping. These thermostats allow you to set the temperature to fluctuate with various times of day and night. Window unit air conditioners today come with an EnergySaver option that will only turn the air conditioning (or heat) on when it senses the room temperature isn’t where the thermostat is set. It turns on the cooling feature or heating feature accordingly. 

Comfort is another motive for upgrading to a newer energy efficient air conditioner too. The newer the system, the more it will keep the temperature at an even point all through the house. With the EnergySaver option mentioned above, window units can keep the temperature more consistent throughout the house, but each room may still feel a little cooler or warmer than other rooms. However, with window units, you can turn off a unit to one room that isn’t being used. 

Can a faulty thermostat cause a high electric bill?

If your electric bill reached extraordinarily high numbers last summer, making you dread the upcoming summer, try replacing your thermostat first. Even with the highest energy efficient air conditioners, a thermostat can begin to malfunction as it wears out. Fortunately, air conditioners don’t go out as often!  

Thermostat manufacturers don’t give an expected exact lifespan on the units, but on average, they last around ten years. On average, you can expect them to last at least 10 years. After 10 years they may begin to malfunction from dust accumulating and wiring getting brittle.

When this happens, they aren’t able to detect the temperature properly in the house and cut off and on frequently or don’t turn off or on. Even with a brand-new energy efficient air conditioner installed, if the thermostat is old, you will not get the most from your new unit.

newly installed air conditioner

At what temperature AC consumes less power?

The ideal air condition thermostat setting is 72 degrees Fahrenheit. For every degree you have that, your energy efficient air conditioner unit will use as much as four percent less power. By lowering the temperature setpoint, the compressor runs longer to achieve that temperature.

Even after purchasing a new energy efficient air conditioner, the biggest, most frequently asked question is “How can I reduce my AC electricity bill?” especially after getting those skyrocket high bills during the summer. As we have covered earlier, the air conditioner is the biggest power consumption in your home. Here are 5 things you can do that will help ease that electric bill this summer:

  1. Go One Up: Raising the thermostat from 71 to 72 really won’t make that much difference in the room, but it will take less electricity because the unit won’t be running as much.
  2. Program A Smart Thermostat: A smart thermostat is only as smart as you tell it to be. Buying one and installing it will not automatically lower your electric bill. Learn how to work the unit and when you’re not home, set the thermostat at a higher temperature during the summer so that it isn’t cooling an empty house.
  3. Keep the Air Flowing Clean: When the air conditioning ducts and filters are dirty, it blocks the air from flowing through as intended, making the HVAC unit work harder. The harder it works, the more electricity it takes.
  4. Regular Professional Maintenance: A professional air conditioning technician can see what you can’t in an air conditioning unit. They will clean components that you can’t reach, repair any electrical connections, and replace worn parts, all of which will make the unit run more efficiently.
  5. Insulation Keeps Things Cool: You’ll get more out of your energy efficient air conditioner when you have updated the insulation in your attic. It will also help during the winter and keep the heat inside!

Need energy efficient air conditioner installation in Orange, CA? Call the experts at Elite HVAC at (714) 464-6622 today!

Humidifier Benefits

home temperature gauge

Why do People use Humidifiers?

Humidifier installation has become a popular service across the country as more homeowners every day realize the benefits that a whole house humidifier can bring to them. Being a service Elite HVAC provides, humidifier installations bring numerous health benefits all throughout the year and also can help with a few appliances as well. Humidifier benefits extend to not only the health of the owner, but also anyone that enters the building. Here are some humidifier benefits:

  • Relieves certain allergies 
  • Decreases static
  • Takes strain off heater by making air warmer
  • Helps with snoring
  • Helps with dry skin and irritated eyes

While largely known, humidifier installation brings two lesser known benefits to homeowners and smaller humidifier units alike. The first is a benefit to wooden appliances, when exposed to dry conditions with a serious lack of moisture in the air, such appliances and parts of the home can dry out, cracking as a result. Humidifier installation solves that question while at the same time making the general environment of a home more pleasant. 

Another and recently discovered humidifier benefit is the fact that a humid environment makes it more difficult for people to catch viruses. In far less scientific and far more general terms, humid air weighs a virus like the flu down with water particles, making them drop rather than coming into contact with you. 

How does a Humidifier work?

Depending on the installed device, humidifiers result in the emission of water vapor into the air. Some heat water and carry the mist through a wind tunnel caused by a fan or are dispersed into the air through vibration. It is not uncommon for a humidifier to be connected to an air conditioner and heating unit, providing a constant environment each time the appliance turns on. Before going into the general air of the home, the moisture runs through a filter to effectively grant the best experience. 

There are common misconceptions with humidifiers versus vaporizers. While some humidifiers do heat water into steam and disperses it into the air, that technique is far more common and specialized in vaporizers. As mentioned, humidifiers use multiple different different kinds of methods to disperse water particles into the air. While both are effective to use for allergies, humidifiers are more common in larger models like those seen in whole house humidifiers. 

Humidifiers can be used at all times when having a source of water to disperse into the air. While mobile units depend on constant refilling to keep the area relatively humid, whole house humidifiers have constant access to your water while making very little difference on your water bill. In fact, in areas with colder weather, humidifiers use around 12 gallons of water per day when the heater is in constant use. In a sense, whole house humidifiers activate and are in use when your HVAC is in use.

Should I install my Humidifier on my Furnace?

Humidifier benefits can be best felt when connected to a heater, due to the lack of moisture in the air due to the appliance warming the air in a way that dehydrates the interior of your home. A humidifier would apply a light level of moisture to the outgoing air, helping it stay warmer longer and putting less strain on the heater as a result. 

To avoid common problems in whole home humidifiers and receive humidifier benefits, we recommend a Elite HVAC visits your home at least once a year to apply maintenance to your HVAC and humidifier systems. With a lifespan of ten years, a whole house humidifier tends to break down on rare occasions. The issues owners should stay observant for is mold and leaking in your unit. Due to the nature of the product passing moisture through your air ducts, there are infrequent occasions where mold pops up. This and general technical issues that can easily be fixed by one of our technicians in Orange, CA. 

humidifier

How to Sanitize a Humidifier

The best way to get your humidifier benefits from your humidifier or whole home humidifier is to occasionally provide cleaning. There are in fact ways to keep your humidifier clean without much work on your part and the benefits will be noticeable with relatively little effort. Whole home humidifiers require less cleaning, only needing a wipe out of the mineral deposits after the colder seasons have passed and replace the water panel or evaporator pad. It is recommended to clean such parts when they are still soft and wet. Here are the reasons you should clean your water whole home humidifier:

  • To keep the filter working and have constant clean water particles in the air
  • Assurance that no parts are broken and no damage has accumulated during times of heavy use
  • Check for leaks, an issue that can deteriorate your home and other appliances

Upon applying maintenance in the form of cleaning your whole home humidifier, it is recommended you use disinfecting products such as wipes and sprays, wiping it down after. Such maintenance helps lessen the chance of mold appearing and extends your whole home humidifer’s lifespan considerably. For more information on how we can install a whole home humidifier into your home and our other services, call (714) 464-6622 today for more information or an appointment. 

What is the average life expectancy of a gas furnace?

Interior of a gas furnace

Is it time for a new furnace?

Did you know that if you run your gas furnace without a filter for one night, it won’t hurt the furnace? However, the longer you leave it without a filter, it will collect more contaminants inside the heating unit and its inner mechanisms.

The best part of winter, other than when it is over, is coming into a nice warm house. Whether you have a gas furnace or electric furnace, a warm house in the winter is excellent, but when the furnace isn’t working as it should, it can leave you in the cold. When that happens, it is time to contact a professional gas furnace repair contractor and stat! 

To keep from having that happening, it is important to practice regular gas furnace cleaning and inspection year-round.  Even when you’re not using your gas furnace, it is still collecting dust along with cobwebs, so cleaning your gas furnace periodically year-round will help in keeping it in good working order.

How do you know if your furnace is dying?

Well, if it isn’t heating your home at all, that would be one sign that it has died. Or, if your gas furnace is short cycling, meaning it turns off and on a lot during a short time without ever heating the house, it could indicate any of the following:

  • Air filter clogged – A gas furnace with a clogged air filter will keep the blower fan can’t move air over the heat exchanger, causing it to overheat and trip the fan limiter, which shuts the system down.
  • Clogged flue – If the flue or vent pipe is clogged or damaged, the flue limiter shuts down the furnace. This is a protection step to keep the gas furnace from emitting carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Dirty thermocouple – Older gas furnaces have a thermocouple that senses the flames from the burner, allowing the flow of the natural gas. When it is damaged or dirty, the gas valve and furnace off to prevent the accumulation of gas.
  • Damaged igniter – If the igniter isn’t working or on an older gas furnace, the pilot light blows out, the furnace shuts down to prevent the accumulation of gas.
  • Failed fan limiter – The fan limiter inhibits the heat exchanger from developing hot enough to start a fire, which could damage the heat exchanger that could lead to cracking for carbon monoxide leaks. When this isn’t properly working, the gas furnace shuts off.
  • Oversized furnace – Sometimes, bigger is not better, and that could be the case with your furnace. A furnace that is too big for a house will cycle too frequently, and while this isn’t dangerous, it uses more energy, thus costing more.
Technician opening a furnace to inspect its interior

Do furnaces lose efficiency over time?

A gas furnace ages, it will begin to lose efficiency over time. There are things you can do that will improve the efficiency of your gas furnace, resulting in lower heating bills.

  • Clean the filter
  • Check for air leaks
  • Unblock radiators
  • Check for cracks and loose parts
  • Weatherize your home for winter
  • Check the burner flames
  • Inspect the limit switch
  • Clear heat pumps
  • Check intake and exhaust vents
  • Update the heating system

Do high-efficiency furnaces save money?

Definitely!  It is estimated that you lose approximately 4 percent of the energy with a top-of-the-line gas furnace, while96% is heating your home. This is a great improvement over gas furnaces of the past.

Should I replace my 30-year-old furnace? 

Thirty years is a good lifespan for a gas furnace, no matter what logic you’re told to follow. A furnace may last past that 30th birthday, but it won’t be as efficient as it was at 10-year, 15 years, even 20-year mark. Experts recommend that you should start shopping or a replacement unit at the 15-year mark.

Does a new furnace increase home value? 

Probably not, but it won’t hurt either. You shouldn’t expect a large ROI of replacing your gas furnace, but you will gain the benefit that buyers like to hear the words “new roof”, “new carpet”, “new furnace”, etc. If there are houses similar to yours on the market, the same time yours is having that “new furnace” could be what grabs that buyer.

Electric Furnace or Gas Furnace

Wrapping up this piece, we will list the pros and cons of an electric furnace and a gas furnace:

Electric Furnace Pros

  • Cheaper $2,000 to $4,000
  • Easier installation and maintenance
  • Safer
  • Quieter
  • Lasts up to thirty years

Electric Furnace Cons

  • Fuel costs higher
  • Less efficient

Gas Furnace Pros

  • Fuel costs lower
  • Lifespan 20 years
  • Heat efficiency higher

Gas Furnace Cons

  • More expensive $3,000 to $7,000
  • Installation complicated
  • Carbon monoxide concerns
  • Regular maintenance by professional required
  • Louder

Using the information that we’ve provided in this piece can help you in choosing your next furnace or getting the most out of your current gas furnace. The important thing is to make sure you have the safest means of heat while being energy efficient for the environment and your budget. When it is time for a new furnace in Orange, CA, the experts at Elite HVAC are here to help! Call us today at (714) 464-6622!